I think my facial expression says it all: I LOVE French champagne

Keeping it Real: the coloured jeans speaking outfit

Nikki ParkinsonEveryday Style, Fashion 32 Comments

I do a fair bit of public speaking. Mostly it’s about styling or blogging/social media but last week I had to step outside my comfort zone and talk about, gosh, horror … ME.

The event was organised by my gorgeous friend Min Swan, who runs a successful strategy and events business called White House Celebrations. We met three years ago in a business women’s mentoring group and from the moment I clocked her stylish black “uniform” I knew we’d be drinking champagne together for many years to come.

And it was with champagne that she enticed me to speak 😉

I think my facial expression says it all: I LOVE French champagne

I think my facial expression says it all: I LOVE French champagne

Min asked me to talk about that journey … to share the things that had helped me achieve success.

For the record I think success is such a subjective term. I’m pretty sure Clive Palmer wouldn’t think I was successful but my definition of it is more centred around whether I’m meeting my goals … in any part of my life. At any time in my life.

Just leaving paid employment after 20 years counted as success for me. Switching on the computer each day to write from my lounge room – during hours that are flexible for me and my family – represents success for me right now.

5 key things that have helped me achieve success 

1. HARD WORK – there’s no quick buck. There are smart bucks but not quick bucks. You have to turn up every day and do the hard yards. Persistence is the key.

2. SOCIAL MEDIA. Make social media work for you. It’s a way to network within your industry beyond your geographic location and build a readership/customer base that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.

3. VALUE YOURSELF. Say no more often. Your time is your currency. Don’t throw it away and over commit yourself to things that will not move your business forward.

4. LOSE THE FEAR. I did a two-day public speaking course two and a half years ago with Bali bombing survivor Carren Smith.  The biggest message I took away from that weekend was that it’s ok to think and play big. And to not be scared of doing so.

5. FIND THAT THING THAT YOU LOVE. Find something that really gets you excited. Getting up each day and doing what you do should not feel like a chore.

I should have added a number 6 point to my list … putting on coloured jeans 😉

I don’t need to tell all the lovely women featured in this blog post about the power of the coloured jean but I’ll tell YOU if you’re still to come over to the other side.

That spark that you feel when you step into them. It’s good. It makes you grin like a crazy woman.

Nobody can take you down when you’re pins are spruiking colour. Which amounts to one big confidence boost. A pretty handy tool if you’ve got to get up and speak in front of a crowd.

Here’s what I wore with my orange NYDJs I picked up on sale for a song while in the US:

The coloured jeans speaking outfit

NYDJ cropped skinny jeans | Sussan ponte jacket | Witchery linen tee layered over a Country Road seamless tank | Rockport heels | Rings: Dinosaur Designs; Peter Lang | Necklace (a birthday gift from another lovely girlfriend!)

Yes, this is very much a trans-seasonal “uniform” of sorts for me. The jeans are for impact – as are some key accessories. The tee is simple but the jacket is designed to add shape and smarten up an otherwise casual outfit.

And I need to talk about those shoes*. I really do. They’re available in store now (also in black) and perfect if you’re someone who needs her heels to be on the comfy side. Seriously, the concept of a comfortable heel does not have to be an oxymoron. I was on my feet for most of this day and my feet did not whinge one bit. Amazing.

And it didn’t have anything to do with the champagne … apparently it’s got a lot to do with the Adidas technology involved in the design of the shoe. Whatever the reason, for me it’s a match made in wearable shoe heaven.

Want to talk about what defines success for you? Or any questions about the outfit? Take your pick. I’m all ears … well, fingers to the keyboard! And if you’d still like to submit a coloured jeans photo for this gallery, email me: [email protected]

Photographs: Alicia Aberley Photography 

*Rockport gifted these shoes to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.


Comments 32

  1. Hi Nikki
    I found you via Sarah at A Beach Cottage.
    I loved this post about fashion and your keys to success. I have been very slowly tranforming myself the past couple of years and reading your post is so inspirational and encouraging, especially the part about how you measure success for yourself.

    1. Hi Alison thanks for finding me via the lovely Sarah! I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been prioritising yourself. It took me a long time to do that (with age comes wisdom!) but it feels good when you make that change. x

  2. You’ve gotta do something you love to do. And lead the life you want to, even if it has absolutely nothing in common with anyone else that you know. It has to suit *you* as a person, and leave you time to relax and chill and recharge, and attend to other important things. But you should always sit down to ‘work’ without being resentful or frustrated … it all blends in seamlessly. Which is why I am posting this at 3.21am having just finished ‘work’ for today 🙂

  3. You look great Nikki- love those shoes. Oh and French champagne too!
    I think as you mature perhaps you re-assess what success means to you, and that can mean that you make decisions to change your lifestyle to try to achieve those changing goals. I’m sure the younger me would be very surprised about some of the choices I have made in the last few years to be MY definition of success in my 40s.

  4. Wow – there is someone else called Min!! She must be a wonderful person ;-)) You look gorgeous as usual Nikki – love your whole outfit.

  5. I love Belinda’s comment below: inspiration, fashion and champagne? Some of my favourite things!

    Loving your orange jeans. I have a day to day ‘uniform’ for every season! Summer is a maxi dress and sandals, Autumn is a maxi dress, sandals and cardigan. Winter is jeans, boots, blazer and scarves and Spring is jeans, a singlet or tee and a statement necklace.

    xx M

  6. Ah… great post. Has everything: inspiration, fashion, champagne and some style tips… Thanks so much! Success is so subjective and at the moment… in fact it is something we are talking about too much! Does one need to have a passion in one’s work? If you could answer that and then email my husband, that would be great, thanks….

    1. What’s your husband’s email? LOL … kidding. Sort of. I think you have to be passionate about what you get up and do every day. That doesn’t mean that every day is rosey. It means that you genuinely get a kick out of whatever it is that you do and that makes it a whole lot easier to get out of bed each day. I love Mummaducka’s passion below, for example.

  7. I am glad Nikki that you have found your niche in the blogging,public speaking,stylist role,I for one love what you do and you are so right ,you have to put the time and effort in to acheive anything,I think you put a lot of work into bringing us what we want to see and hear,and I Thank-You.Now onto those coloured jeans they are great aren’t they,I have blue,orange and a red pair I picked up last week and they are a great transeasonal outfit,having got used to coloured pants I feel funny and a bit blah when I wear black or just denim,doesn’t take long to change your mind about them,I love mine and they do put a smile on your face and a spring in your step,Love this years colourful fashions,it’s great to see all the colour in the shops and around you.Those shoes look great on and it’s a plus that they are comfy as well.I like how you do smart casual Nikki,so stylish and may I say your looking lovely! I did Instagram you a coloured jeans pic ,but next time I wear some I will send them again to you.

  8. Love the outfit Nikki – especially the orange jeans. Just the sort of thing I would wear! I have seen so many coloured NYDJ on sale (at great prices) on the Nordstrom website – but they don’t ship them to Australia (although they ship everything else!)! I am loving the Rockport shoes too. I been looking everywhere online for those great orange loafers you showed a while ago and can’t find them anywhere!

    1. Sally, I believe that would be to protect the Australian distribution of the label. It’s the same on the Macy’s site. These Rockport shoes and the orange loafers are part of the new season range due in store in November. I’ll re-post when they’re in store.

    2. Hi Sally, try Katies, yes, Katies! They have pull on hold you in jeans for summer. I bought white and haven’t worn white jeans for years. They were on the rack at the front of the shop which is why I stopped to look. reasonably priced too.

  9. What defines success for me is being happy! Mostly for me this comes from having stable, resilient and happy kids and husband. Also, doing a job I love and enjoy. Importantly too is earning enough money through both our jobs or clever investments and work practises that you have enough money to do WHATEVER you want. My Hubby works incredibly long hours owning and running 2 businesses really, one that is in partnership with 2 others and our own farming business. He absolutely loves it and wouldn’t have it any other way and is well rewarded for his efforts. I have a wonderful job as a high school Librarian and it is a joy to go to work everyday. After 23 years as a teacher I still love working with young people and not only that- learning alongside them all the new and wonderful things that are in our world. My goal is to develop a love of learning in these students. Someone switched that on in me somewhere along the line and I thank them so much for it. With that thirst for knowledge and ability to learn new things, anything is possible! I have seen it come to fruition many, many times and I believe that is what makes the difference to being successful or not, both at school and out in the real world.

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